The first of 12 interviews with our 2018 Athlete Ambassador team.
Tell us a little about yourself
With running your first 100-miler this year, what do you think you need to do differently with fueling and training?
For 100 miles, I will be on the go for (hopefully) 23-24 hours. The longest I have ever gone so far is 10 hours running the 50 mile race. In training for that I did a mix of hill repeats, TRX and 1.5-2 hr tempo runs plus 2 rest/stretching days during the week and then back-to-back long runs on the weekend. For 100 miles I will increase the volume of training, and do back-to-back-to-back long runs with the same mix of hills/TRX/tempo/rest. To make this easier I will go to an 8 day cycle, rather than a 7 day. You can get stuck on a 7 day training week cycle but there really is no reason for it, other than routine.
Fueling-wise I think I got it pretty spot-on last year for the 50 mile. For long training runs and racing I used a mixture of Perpetuem, Hammer Gels, Endurance Amino, Anti-fatigue caps and Endurolytes Extreme, with just a pre-exercise Gel and Endurance Amino for the shorter mid-week sessions. Recoverite and Tissue Rejuvenator really help with recovery and avoiding injury, especially once the training volume starts to get high. For the 50 mile race that was all I needed for fuel, apart from a couple of handfuls of crisps towards the end of the race. I prefer to hydrate with just water and use the Endurolyte capsules as it makes it very easy to just refill with water at the aid stations without having to mix anything.
Fueling discipline will be important for 100 miles, particularly in the early and very late stages when I sometimes won’t feel like eating anything. For the 50 miler, I planned an hourly rota of fuel and stuck to it pretty well.
It should be fun.
You are our first ambassador to be selected without even applying to the program. Why do you think that is?
I am quite thrilled to be asked to join the ambassador team. I have used Hammer products seriously since I started mountain bike racing in 2012 and even before that used Recoverite for after rugby and mountain bike rides. Ryan has always been so helpful with advice on what and how much to use, that I have always tried to give feedback on what worked, sharing the results on the Hammer website as well as Facebook and Instagram. I hope to do a bit more of that as an ambassador and just spread the word so that more people can get the same benefits I have from using the Hammer range.
What are your top three Hammer products at the moment? And why?
Cafe Latte Perpetuem is my favourite weekend breakfast. My long runs are usually Saturday or Sunday morning, usually starting before 5am, so breakfast beforehand is not an option. I start sipping Perpetuem 20-30 minutes into my run and it keeps me going for however many hours I need to. It tastes nice so you don't have to force it down, it has never given me any upset stomach and it is satisfying so you don't get hungry. I mix about 3 hours worth in a gel flask so it is just runny and then carry water. I find that this way, in the depths of winter when I still need the fuel but don't need so much water, it is easy to control and still take in enough fuel. I will also have a couple of gels with me in case I feel like I need them.
Recoverite has been a staple of mine for a while now. It is liquid calories, so more easily absorbed than solid food and it is great to have straight after a run if I am not eating immediately. In the week I often run at 9.00pm or later so it’s also good to have something afterwards that won’t sit in my stomach and keep me awake.
Endurance Amino is something I discovered in the last year. I found it made my energy levels more consistent and generally higher throughout my training session, especially on longer runs (90min and over). It also greatly reduced muscle soreness immediately post-exercise, which again is good when training right before bed. I take 2 caps before, 2 after and 2 per hour that I am training.